Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News from
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,
 "Of Counsel" at Needham Mitnick & Pollack
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In This Issue
Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions
Social Security Checks Could Be Delayed Without Debt-Ceiling Deal
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Issue: # 36July 2011
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Welcome to the thirty-sixth edition of our newsletter.


You may have been added to our e-mail newsletter mailing list if you have been in contact with Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law or the Law Firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack PLC.


These monthly newsletters are designed to show you how not to gamble with your or your patients/clients Social Security Disability and/or SSI benefits.  We also provide you with information on Special Needs Planning.


You may unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the end of this e-mail.


Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions


Social Security Logo 

Fast Track Disability Process Will Now Look at 100 Conditions


Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced on July 14th, 12 additional Compassionate Allowances conditions involving severe heart diseases, bringing the total number of conditions in the expedited disability process to 100.


Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.


"We have reached a significant milestone for the Compassionate Allowances program," Commissioner Astrue said. "We have an obligation to award benefits quickly to people whose medical conditions are so serious they clearly meet our disability standards. We are now able to do precisely that for 100 severe conditions."


The Compassionate Allowances initiative is one of two parts of the agency's fast-track system for certain disability claims. When combined with the Quick Disability Determination process, Social Security last year approved more than 100,000 cases, usually in less than two weeks. This year, the agency expects to fast-track nearly 150,000 cases.


Social Security has held seven public hearings and worked with experts to develop the list of Compassionate Allowances conditions. The hearings also have helped the agency identify additional ways to improve the disability process for applicants with Compassionate Allowances conditions. "By definition, these illnesses are so severe that we don't need to fully develop the applicant's work history to make a decision," said Commissioner Astrue. As a result, beginning in August, Social Security is eliminating this part of the application process for people who have a condition on the list.


For more information on the Compassionate Allowances initiative, please click here.


New Compassionate Allowances Conditions:


Aortic Atresia

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient

Eisenmenger Syndrome

Mitral Valve Atresia

Endomyocardial Fibrosis

Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis

Heart Transplant Graft Failure

Pulmonary Atresia

Heart Transplant Wait List - 1A/1B

Single Ventricle

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Tricuspid Atresia


Social Security Checks Could Be Delayed Without Debt-Ceiling Deal


Social Security Check

President Obama has stated that Social Security Retirement and Disability benefits could be at risk if negotiators don't reach a deal on the debt limit by August 2, 2011. That's when the Treasury Department says the government will stop being able to borrow money.


"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," President Obama said in an interview with CBS News.


On August 3rd, the federal government will be forced to start prioritizing payments. And that just happens to be the day when a big set of Social Security checks are scheduled to be mailed out. Some 60 million Americans receive Social Security benefits each month.

This type of situation, however, has happened before and all Social Security Benefits were paid.  In 1996 the Treasury Department announced it did not have enough money to pay Social Security benefits for the month of March because it could not issue new debt.  Congress then passed a law allowing the Treasury Department to temporarily issue securities in an amount equal to those payments, in such a way that would not count against the debt ceiling in the short-term. 


Sheri Abrams' Book "Don't Gamble With Your Social Security Disability Benefits--What Every Virginia Resident Needs To Know To Win A Social Security Disability Case" Is Available.
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For more information please click here to see our Press Release.  
You can also download a free copy of the book at our websites:








The law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC, is located at:


NMP's Office Building 


400 S. Maple Avenue
Suite 210
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 536-7778



This is in downtown Falls Church and the office has plenty of free and accessible parking.


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If you know of someone who could use my legal services or any of the other members of the law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC, please forward to him/her this e-mail newsletter or give him/her our telephone number: (703) 536-7778.


We provide legal services in the areas of Social Security Disability Law , Elder Law, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Trust Administration, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Guardianships, Long Term Care Planning, Disability Planning, Medicaid Eligibility, Veterans Benefits and Special Needs Trusts.
If you, or someone you know, is involved with an educational event or support group that would benefit from a presentation on any of the areas of law for which we provide legal services, please call us at (703) 536-7778.